Buyers Guide

Understanding Your Needs:

What are your needs, and what's important to you? Home size, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, garage, floor plan, schools, location... etc?

Budgeting and Financing:

Understanding Your Total Home Purchase Budget: This includes not only the purchase price but also any additional costs like renovations, closing costs, and moving expenses. How much are you planning to spend in total?
Importance of Mortgage Pre-Approval:
Have you obtained a pre-approval for a mortgage yet? This is an important step as it gives you a clear idea of how much you can borrow and shows sellers that you are a serious and prepared buyer.
Comfortable Monthly Mortgage Payment:
What monthly mortgage payment range would you be comfortable with? It's crucial to consider a payment that fits comfortably within your budget without overextending your finances.
Down Payment Readiness: How much have you saved for a down payment? This will impact your mortgage options and potentially the terms of your loan.
Awareness of Total Home-Buying Costs:  Beyond the purchase price, you'll need to consider property taxes, homeowners insurance, possibly homeowners association fees, maintenance costs, and closing costs.
Existing Debt Obligations: This includes things like car loans, credit card debt, or student loans, as they affect your overall financial picture and how lenders view your mortgage application.
Credit Score Awareness: Do you know your current credit score? It plays a significant role in determining the interest rate on your mortgage and the types of loans you may qualify for.
Eligibility for Special Mortgage Programs: There are several special mortgage programs available, especially for first-time homebuyers, veterans, and others. Have you explored whether you are eligible for any of these programs?
Income Stability and Employment: How stable is your current job and income? Lenders look for stability and consistency in your employment history when approving a mortgage.
Future Income Expectations: Are you anticipating any major changes in your income in the near future, like a job change or promotion? This can impact both your ability to secure a mortgage and your comfort level with future mortgage payments.
Homeownership Duration Plans: How long do you plan to live in the home you purchase? Your plans can affect the type of mortgage that's best for you.
Preparation for Future Financial Changes: Are there any significant financial changes you anticipate in the coming years, such as retirement or funding a child's education? It's important to factor these into your home buying plans.
Contingency Fund for Unexpected Expenses: Do you have a contingency fund set aside for unexpected expenses after purchasing a home? It's always wise to be prepared for unforeseen costs that can arise.

Pre-Approval for a Mortgage:

Financial Assessment: Pre-approval involves a lender examining your financial situation (income, credit score, debt, savings) to determine how much they are willing to lend you. This process gives you a clear picture of your financial readiness to buy a home.
Budget Definition: With pre-approval, you know exactly how much you can borrow, which helps in setting a realistic budget for your home search. It narrows down your options to properties you can afford, saving you time and effort.
Credibility with Sellers: When you make an offer on a home with a mortgage pre-approval, sellers are more likely to take you seriously. It shows that you have the financial backing to follow through on the offer, making you a more attractive buyer, especially in competitive markets.
Faster Closing Process: Having pre-approval can speed up the closing process. Since the lender has already assessed your financial situation, much of the groundwork required for finalizing the mortgage is already completed.
Interest Rate Lock
: In some cases, lenders can lock in an interest rate at the time of pre-approval. This can protect you against rate increases while you are searching for a home.
Negotiation Power: A pre-approval can give you leverage in negotiations with sellers. They may be more willing to negotiate on price or terms knowing that your financing is secure.
Understanding of Additional Costs: The pre-approval process can also help you understand additional costs involved in purchasing a home, like closing costs, which can be significant.
Confidence in Searching: Knowing you are pre-approved, you can search for homes with confidence, understanding that you are looking within your means and are ready to make a solid offer when you find the right property.

Choosing a Real Estate Agent:

 Experience and Expertise: Look for an agent with experience in your target market and the type of property you're interested in.
References and Reviews: Ask for references from past clients and read online reviews to gauge the agent's reputation and performance.
Communication Style: Choose an agent whose communication style matches yours. You want someone responsive and willing to keep you informed.
Compatibility: Since you'll work closely with this person, ensure there's a good personal fit. You should feel comfortable and trust your agent.
Licenses and Credentials: Verify that the agent is licensed and check for any additional credentials or specializations, such as certifications for working with first-time homebuyers or luxury properties.

Benefits of Working with a Real Estate Agent:

Market Knowledge: Agents have a deep understanding of local real estate markets, which can help in finding properties that meet your needs and budget.
Negotiation Skills: They possess negotiation skills to help you get the best deal possible, whether you're buying or selling.
Time-Saving: Agents handle the legwork of property searching, scheduling showings, and paperwork, saving you time.
Professional Network: Agents have a network of contacts, including lenders, inspectors, and contractors, which can be invaluable.
Guidance Through Complex Processes: They guide you through complex processes like contracts, inspections, and closing procedures, ensuring legal compliance and smooth transactions.
Emotional Buffer: An agent can act as a buffer in negotiations, keeping the process objective and less emotional for you.

In summary, a real estate agent plays a crucial role in navigating the complexities of buying or selling property, offering expertise, support, and resources to make the process as smooth and successful as possible.

Home Searching Process: 

Searching online is a great way to find your home. Here is a tool for your mobile cell phone or tablet device MLS Home Search. If you are using other online search apps, like Zillow, and are already working with a Realtor, then contact your agent to schedule your showing.
Open Houses: Open houses are beneficial to you if you are in the very early stages of your home search and you want to get a feel for the market, and neighborhoods (if you are working with an agent already, contact your agent for questions, or to submit an offer, not the open house agent)

Benefits of Private Showings

Personalized Experience: Private showings are scheduled at your convenience, providing a more relaxed and focused viewing experience without the pressure of other potential buyers around.
In-depth View: You get a more thorough look at the property. With more time at your disposal, you can inspect aspects of the home in detail.
Direct Communication with the Agent: During a private showing, you have the undivided attention of the real estate agent. This allows for direct and immediate communication about the property’s features, issues, or negotiation possibilities.
Less Rushed, More Reflective: Without the time constraints of an open house, you can take your time to really envision living in the space, noting details that you might miss in a quicker, group tour.
Privacy: Discussing the property with your family or real estate agent without others overhearing your thoughts and opinions can be beneficial. It allows for open, honest discussion about the property's potential.
Tailored to Your Schedule: Private showings can be arranged according to your schedule, making it more convenient, especially for busy buyers or those coordinating with family members.
Better Assessment of the Neighborhood: A private showing often includes the opportunity to explore the neighborhood more thoroughly, giving you a better sense of the area without the distraction of an open house crowd.

Making an Offer:

Determine Your Offer Price: Based on your budget, the home’s condition, comparable properties in the area, and market conditions, decide on the offer price. Your real estate agent can provide valuable guidance in this.
Prepare the Offer Contract: Your agent will draft an offer letter, which is a formal proposal to buy the home. This includes the offer price, proposed closing date, contingencies (like home inspection, appraisal, financing), and any other terms of the sale.
Review Contingencies: Ensure you understand the contingencies in your offer, which are conditions that must be met for the sale to go through. Common ones include a satisfactory home inspection, mortgage approval, and a good appraisal.
Submit Earnest Money Deposit: When you make an offer, you'll typically include an earnest money deposit. This is a sign of good faith that you're serious about the purchase and is held in an escrow account until closing.
Present the Offer to the Seller: Your agent will present your offer to the seller or their agent. This can be a written document or a digital submission, depending on local practices.
Negotiation and Counteroffers: Be prepared for counteroffers. The seller may come back with different terms, such as a higher price or different contingencies. You can accept, continue negotiating, or walk away.
Acceptance and Contract: Once both parties agree on the terms, you both sign a purchase agreement, making the offer official. This legally binding contract outlines all the details of the transaction. The contract is sent to lender, and title company of buyer's choice.
Proceed with Contingencies: After the offer is accepted, move forward with fulfilling any contingencies, such as getting a home inspection or finalizing your mortgage.

Remember, making an offe.r is a significant step and should be done with careful consideration and the guidance of a knowledgeable real estat
e agent.

Home Inspection and Appraisal:

Hiring an Inspector: After your offer is accepted, hire a professional home inspector. Choose someone licensed and with a good reputation, often recommended by your real estate agent.
Inspection Day: The inspector will examine the property’s physical condition, including structure, roof, plumbing, electrical systems, heating and cooling systems, and appliances.
Attending the Inspection: You are allowed to attend inspection, but inspectors need space to do their job in a timely manner. You will get a report and can ask questions.
Receiving the Report: After the inspection, you'll receive a report detailing what was found. This report highlights any issues or potential repairs needed.
Decision Making: Based on the inspection results, you can decide to proceed with the purchase, negotiate repairs or a price reduction with the seller, or, in some cases, withdraw your offer if major issues are uncovered.

Appraisal Process:

Appraiser Assignment
: Your lender will order an appraisal to be conducted by a licensed appraiser. This is to ensure the property’s value matches the selling price and the amount they're lending.
Appraiser's Evaluation: The appraiser visits the property to assess its condition, size, features, and function. They also compare it to similar, recently sold properties in the area to determine its market value.
Receiving Appraisal Results: The appraiser prepares a report that gives an estimated value of the property. You and your lender will receive this report. 
Impact on Loan: If the appraisal value is at or above the purchase price, the lending process typically proceeds smoothly. If it's lower than the purchase price, you may need to renegotiate the price with the seller or come up with the difference in value.

The home inspection and appraisal are crucial steps in the home buying process, offering protection to you as the buyer. The inspection provides a detailed look at the property's condition, while the appraisal ensures the property's value aligns with your investment.

Closing Process:

Final Mortgage Approval: Ensure your mortgage is fully approved. This involves completing all lender requirements and submitting necessary documents.
Closing Disclosure Review: A few days before closing, you'll receive a Closing Disclosure from your lender. This document outlines the final terms of your loan and closing costs. Review it carefully for accuracy.
Final Walkthrough: Conduct a final walkthrough of the property, typically a day before closing, to ensure it's in the agreed-upon condition and that all repairs, if any, have been made.
Gathering Necessary Documents: Prepare to bring all necessary documents to closing. This includes your ID, the Closing Disclosure, proof of homeowner's insurance, and any other paperwork requested by your lender or closing agent.
Closing Day: On the day of closing, you'll meet with your real estate agent, a closing agent (often a representative from a title company), and possibly your lender. If you're in a state that requires an attorney, they'll be present as well.
Signing Documents: You'll sign a series of legal documents. These include the mortgage agreement, which outlines your obligation to the lender, and the deed, which transfers property ownership to you.
Paying Closing Costs: You’ll be required to pay any closing costs and the remaining down payment. This is usually done via a cashier’s check or wire transfer.
Receiving the Keys: Once all documents are signed and funds are exchanged, you'll receive the keys to your new home.
Recording the Deed: The closing agent will record the deed with the local government, officially making you the homeowner.
Post-Closing: After closing, keep all documents in a safe place for future reference, and start the process of moving into your new home.

Utilities: A few days prior to closing you will want to schedule utilities to be setup for your move-in date.

Home Warranty:

Protection Against Unexpected Repair Costs: A home warranty covers the cost of repairs or replacements of major systems and appliances in your home, such as HVAC, plumbing, electrical systems, refrigerators, and ovens, which can fail due to normal wear and tear.
Peace of Mind: Having a home warranty provides peace of mind, knowing that you won’t be faced with sudden, large expenses for repairing or replacing covered items.
Convenience: When something breaks down, you don't need to search for a service provider. The warranty company usually has a network of pre-screened professionals and will arrange for a technician to handle the repairs.
Potential Savings: The cost of a single major repair or replacement can often exceed the annual fee of a home warranty, potentially saving you money in the long run.
Appealing for Buyers and Sellers: For home sellers, offering a home warranty can make a property more attractive to buyers. For buyers, obtaining a warranty can be reassuring, especially when purchasing an older home.

Who Pays for the Home Warranty:
The question of who pays for the home warranty depends on the specifics of the real estate transaction and can be a point of negotiation:
Seller-Paid Home Warranty: Often, sellers will offer a home warranty as part of the sale to make the property more appealing and to provide assurance to the buyer. This can also protect the seller from post-sale disputes if a system or appliance fails after closing.
Buyer-Paid Home Warranty: Buyers can also choose to purchase a home warranty themselves, especially if it’s not offered by the seller. This is a common strategy for buyers looking for additional protection and peace of mind when purchasing an older home.
Negotiated in the Sale: The cost of the home warranty can be negotiated during the sale process. In some cases, the cost may be split between the buyer and seller, or it can be included in the overall sale negotiations.


26 SW 104th ST
Oklahoma City, OK 73139, US

About us

Rooted in the heart of Oklahoma City, dedicated and certified real estate professional with a passion for serving clients. Specializing in both buying and selling, with an understanding of nuances of the OKC real estate landscape.  Commitment goes beyond transactions; it's about building lasting relationships and ensuring every client finds their perfect place in this vibrant city. Choose me to make your real estate journey rewarding and hassle-free. 

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